Finance Tips for Female Entrepreneurs
As much as the “old boys club” model is supposed to be a thing of the past, some female entrepreneurs still feel that they are at a disadvantage.
While there are plenty of resources available for both genders, and some especially for women, there is still a perception sometimes that women must work twice as hard, whether they’re employees or owners.
For instance, some lending programs are open to men and to women alike, yet few female entrepreneurs apply and few actually receive funding. Many lenders will tell you that there’s no conscious bias and they apply the same criteria to everyone.
Women wanting to be treated as equals hopefully aren’t treated as rudely as they were in the past. But there are still some areas where a strong focus is needed.
- Do your research. Going into meetings or projects with the facts already gathered and all the paperwork you may need goes a long way in establishing your credentials. Although some men like to “wing it” at meetings, they’ll also be impressed with a female entrepreneur who knows her subject matter.
- Be ready for negatives. Female entrepreneurs will likely discover people with poor attitudes that they hoped were a thing of the past. It’s OK and even encouraged today to call them out on this or even report this sexist behavior. But there will also be opportunities where people are impolite, rushed or condescending, and loans may be rejected or project canceled, sometimes due to personalities — it happens to men too!
- Don’t apologize. Even strong female leaders are known to say “sorry” regularly for things that aren’t necessarily their fault. There is nothing wrong with taking the blame on behalf of the group – it shows you’re humble and focused on the team. Too much, though, can indicate that you’re not sure you belong at the top. After all, many male leaders remain confident when they reach a higher point. This also goes for making requests during negotiations – you can still be polite but you don’t have to be sorry.
For more entrepreneurial strategies, visit Approved Business Lending.